November 28, 2015

Your Faith Box: The Fourth Foundation Belief "We can not do it by ourselves"

If you have been around toddlers, you have heard them say, "I can do it myself." It seems to be human nature to achieve something without any help from anyone. In fact, this attitude is not limited to four year old children. The iconic phrase "self made man" is used universality to describe a successful man, or woman for that matter. Politicians, especially those in the campaign season, remind us, "Anyone through hard work can make it to the top. Anyone can be the President." Mothers and fathers of young girls tell them they can do or be anything they want to be. This hard work theme is called in America, the Protestant ethic, but in reality, it is the Universal ethic of Humankind!

With this basic instinct, the young and inexperienced enter adulthood. Yes we enter the physical world with it's demands and trials, it's risk and rewards, it's ups and downs, but we enter it confidently because we believe, "I can do it myself!" While there are exceptions, most of us can do most things for ourselves, at least enough to live in the world. And some individuals can do amazing things most of us could never do.

But, and this is a big but, there is one thing no one can do for themselves. The wealthiest person can not do it, The most powerful man or woman can not do it. A strong willed person will fail when they try to do it. You can not get enough education at any level to do it. It is impossible o do it yourself!

November 12, 2015

Your Faith Box: The Third Foundation Belief: God will not give up on you

The unfolding story of God's relationship with his creation can be summed in one phrase; relentless pursuit. This is so different from the human experience. Imagine a letter to an advice columnist.

Dear Amy:
I like this girl and want to ask her out. I have tried to make friends with her and it is okay for a while until someone else comes along and she drops me. I send her flowers and she says, "Oh how sweet."and we are friends for a while. But when I ask her out she always has something else to do. I did her homework for her and she says, "Oh how nice." and we are friends for a while. But when I asked her out she can not make it. What should I do?  

What would you advise "Lonesome" to do? I, for one, would tell "Lonesome" to forget this girl, look for someone else who is not so heartless. She had ample opportunity to date you. clearly she is not interested in you. 

But God is not human! He does not operate as we do. To summarize the situation to date. God created the universe and humans. God loves his creations especially humans. God gave us the right to make our own choices and we chose to turn away from God. But God loves us and wants us to have a family relationship with him. So God does all he can to win our voluntary choice to return to him. Unfortunately, we reject his overtures to us. We reject him.

November 5, 2015

Your Faith Box: The Second Foundation belief, God "loved the world"

Love is a misunderstood word or concept. What is Love? We use "love" in many ways. I love my mother, I love my wife, I love my children, I love my car, I love my work, I love my school, I love my sports team, I love, I love, I love. Is any of this relative to "For God so loved the world..."? Can we truly understand God loving the world, or God loving us? Coming to grips with the idea this great creating and sustaining God actually loving you and me, is absolutely a foundation belief lining your faith box.

Love has a price. If I offered you $1 million for the car you love, would you take? In a heart beat you would take it. What would be the price of others things you love? What would you take for your spouse? or your children? That really is not a far fetched idea, many families are broken because one spouse accepted something in exchange for their family. Families have been broken when one spouse thought a career was more important or an affair was more satisfying, or money could solve any problem or any number of other things. The point is love has a price, something more important than the thing you say you love.

Which of us would give up our life to save our child? I dare say most parents would give their own life to save their child's life. The need to protect our children is embedded in our DNA. In fact it is an animal instinct of the parents to protect the young whether in the animal kingdom or in the human kingdom. Sacrificial love for those we create or for those who love us is natural. Is God's more than that?

Who would give their life for someone they do not know? I am not talking about donating a kidney for a stranger. I am talking about being willing to die so you can donate a heart to someone you do not know. A child, maybe, but a stranger? You want me to let you kill me so a women in Dallas can receive my heart? Whoa!

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